Standing Behind Players

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Professional athletes’ support of social and racial justice has faced criticism from some, but teams appear to be standing behind their players. Dallas Stars CEO Brad Alberts said the team has lost season ticket holders because of its support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Alberts reiterated the organization’s support of its players while saying a mix of individual and company season ticket holders had canceled their accounts. He added that all of the team’s advertiser relationships remained intact.

Last week in Edmonton, Stars player Jason Dickinson represented the team as speakers from the four Western Conference teams still in the playoffs held a news conference about the league postponing its playoff games. Dickinson, along with teammate Tyler Seguin and Vegas Golden Knights players Ryan Reaves and Robin Lehner, became the first NHL players in uniform to kneel for the U.S. national anthem on Aug. 3.

The prior day, Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba became the first player to kneel during the anthem. Dumba did not play in the game, instead delivering a speech about his work with the Hockey Diversity Alliance before the Edmonton Oilers and Chicago Blackhawks faced off.